Fasting can be beneficial for many people – It must be stated at the very beginning that you should wait until your body has completely adjusted and adapted to the keto way of eating before considering undertaking fasting of any kind. Fasting does not suit everyone. Those with eating disorders, thyroid dysfunction, chronic or adrenal fatigue should not undertake fasting. It should also be noted that fasting can worsen a caffeine addiction.
Fasting is the practice of not eating (for our purpose – it is very important to maintain your normal fluid intake) for a specific time period. Everyone fasts when they are asleep, some for religious reasons and some just as a result of a busy lifestyle/job.
Once a period of 8 – 12 hours has passed without food, the body enters a state of ‘fasting’. Intermittent fasting can have health benefits such as better skin, weight loss, a healthier heart, reduced systemic inflammation/oxidative stress and increased longevity. The basic premise is that the body cannot digest food and repair itself at the same time, therefore depriving the body of food for a short period, normally between 14 and 22 hours will allow an extended period of time for all the processes of repair to occur.
We recommend that you thoroughly research fasting protocols to find something that is right for your individual circumstances if you wish to try intermittent fasting – there is a huge amount of (often) conflicting information out there, particularly if you are female.
There are proven health benefits, along with myths associated with fasting. These are outlined briefly below:
- The levels of growth hormone increase up to five fold. This has benefits for fat loss and muscle growth
- Your insulin sensitivity improves, lowering the insulin level dramatically, making stored body fat more accessible as fuel
- The cells of the body are able to repair themselves and regenerate when the body is not busy digesting food
- Long term fasting slows your metabolism, however short term fasting as mentioned above have been proven to increase your metabolism
- There is evidence to show that people who fast intermittently on a regular basis may enjoy a longer, healthier life than those who eat three meals a day, or follow a calorie restricted diet.
- Boosts the immune system by allowing the body to regenerate immune system cells and improving white blood cell production
- Your metabolism will slow down (see above)
- You will pass out
- Normal activity is impossible
Bear in mind mankind has been fasting for much longer that we have been eating three square meals a day – this was largely as a result of the industrial revolution and the shift from an agrarian population to living in cities. Our hunter gatherer ancestors would eat when food was available and fast until the next meal came along.